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China Won't Pressure Burma to Free Suu Kyi - 2003-06-26


China says it will not pressure its ally, Burma, to release detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters Thursday that Beijing does not like to exert pressure on other countries. He said Aung San Suu Kyi's detention is an internal Burmese affair.

Aung San Suu Kyi's month-long detention has drawn international condemnation, even from Burma's neighbors. The United States has urged other countries to punish Rangoon with crippling sanctions.

But the Chinese government spokesman said pressure and sanctions only serve to complicate problems.

Japan has asked Burma's ruling generals to set up a meeting between the detained Nobel laureate and the Japanese ambassador to Rangoon. Tokyo is Burma's largest aid donor, but has said it will freeze all future aid unless Aung San Suu Kyi is freed immediately.

The opposition leader was detained May 30th after a deadly clash between members of her National League for Democracy and pro-government demonstrators in northern Burma. The military says it is holding her for her own protection.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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